Why I’m Running the Spartan Race at Fenway on November 18th
A little more than a year ago I ran a Warrior Dash with some of my closest friends in the world for no other purpose than to have some fun and honor a good man and coach. I often think back on that weekend in September of 2011 with very fond memories. It was a truly great time.
One week from Sunday, I will be running in my second mud race for an entirely different reason: I and a my friend Doug Denny (and others) will be running the Spartan Race at Fenway Park in Boston to pay tribute to loved ones who are currently fighting battles with cancer.
My personal experience –
Cancer has touched my life literally from my birth to now in a way that is simply profound. My mother had cancer of the uterus when she was pregnant with me, and immediately after giving birth had a complete hysterectomy performed to save her life. She’s a fighter and a 45 year cancer survivor.
Early last summer, she called to let me know that she’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, topped off with the surgical removal of the cancerous tissue in her pancreas, bile duct, small intestine and stomach followed. It had been 8 months of recovery, cancer free, this week until I learned today from her that the cancer is back and in her blood. The news moved me to tears because I know how much she’s fought and suffered for more than a year…and knowing that she will have to fight on. I’m running the Spartan for her…
As a cancer survivor myself, in this month of Thanksgiving I am TRULY THANKFUL to have been given a second chance… I’ve used that Blessing to make changes in my life that enabled me to lose 30 pounds of fat, and get my cholesterol and triglycerides into an optimal range (…thanks in no small part to my young children…my “Why?”…and my wife who provided the extra “shove” I needed at the time.) I’ve studied exercise and how to eat right to thrive, and now I’m thankful to be able to pay forward what I’ve learned by coaching others to help them change their lives the way I did.
My good friend Doug –
My sister, Robyn, was diagnosed in may 2011 with breast cancer after finding a large lump in her breast. Shortly after she began Chemo treatments to battle the disease. Following several rounds, she was tested again and found that the cancer had moved to her bones, chest cavity, lymph nodes, spine and liver. At this point she was considered a stage 4 and began advanced treatments with no real effect. Further testing revealed that she was a very rare triple negative. She has now battled this for over a year and rallied friends, family and complete strangers to fight for her cause. Just this last month for Making Strides she raised over $11,900 and beat all the corporate teams in Orlando to be named the top team for 2012. I am truly proud of her strength, positive attitude and desire to help others get through this. Originally she understood that her life would be cut short and that she would have between 7 to 10 years, but two weeks ago a scan revealed that the cancer has spread again and that she will lose this fight in the next few months. My baby sister will leave behind her daughters, 4 and 8 and her husband, along with hundreds of people she has touched along the way. Even knowing this, she continues to be a warrior and fight.
So while we’re out there in a few days trudging in the mud, over walls and obstacles and through ice, we’re doing it with a PURPOSE. We’ll each be thinking about the ones we love and how very much we care about them.